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23 Weeks of Protest: Zahedan Residents Demand Freedom, Justice & Accountability

Residents of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan, have been holding protest rallies every Friday since the September 30th massacre when security forces killed nearly 100 people in the deadliest incident so far in nationwide demonstrations triggered by the September 16th death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Tehran’s morality police.[0]

The protests have continued for 23 consecutive weeks, with protesters pouring into the streets chanting slogans such as “Freedom, Freedom, Freedom,” “We don’t want the Islamic Republic,” “I will kill whoever killed my brother,” and “Political prisoners must be released.” Activists reported a large presence of security forces in the restive city, and the protesters have vowed to continue their street demonstrations until the punishment of all the leaders and perpetrators of the massacre.[1]

Forces under the command of the Revolutionary Guard have killed well over 100 people in the Baluch-populated region since the bloody crackdown.[2] The Iranian forces have also arrested thousands of protesters in the region, including religious scholars such as Maulana Abdul Majeed Muradzahi, Maulana Gorgej and Maulvi Fazlur Rahman Kohi, who have called for the immediate release of political prisoners.[2]

The nationwide demonstrations have highlighted the plight of Iran’s Sunni Baluch minority, which consists of up to two million people. As the protests continue, activists are calling for an end to the oppressive regime that has long oppressed the Baluch people and are demanding freedom, justice, and accountability.

0. “Sunni Leader Says Religion Is Failing The People Of Iran” ایران اینترنشنال, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.iranintl.com/en/202303174265

1. “Zahedan's Sunni Cleric Calls For Human Rights Of “All Iranians” Be Respected” IranWire |, 10 Mar. 2023, https://iranwire.com/en/news/114646-zahedans-sunni-cleric-calls-for-human-rights-of-all-iranians-be-respected/

2. “Balochistan: Protesters demand release of political prisoners” Balochwarna News, 11 Mar. 2023, https://balochwarna.com/2023/03/11/balochistan-protesters-demand-release-of-political-prisoners/

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